Mark Doyle Construction L L C et al v. Tri H M Foundation L L C et al
MEMORANDUM ORDER: The amended answer alleges Harris is a limited partner but it does not allege there are no other partners as was previously suggested. It implies there may be other partners which requires clarification. First Standard Asurety L L P is directed to move for leave to again amend its answer and state with specificity the name of each partner in the entity. If David Harris is the sole partner then that should be stated with specificity and it should be explained by reference to Georgia law or particular facts. The deadline for compliance with this order is 11/30/2017. Signed by Magistrate Judge Mark L Hornsby on 11/13/2017. (crt,Putch, A)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
MARK DOYLE CONSTRUCTION,
LLC, ET AL
CIVIL ACTION NO. 17-cv-0674
TRI HM FOUNDATION, LLC, ET AL
MAGISTRATE JUDGE HORNSBY
Mark Doyle Construction, LLC and Woodrow Wilson filed this civil action in a Texas
federal court against four defendants based on allegations of fraud in connection with a
business investment. The complaint does not invoke federal law. Its sole basis for
jurisdiction is an assertion of diversity jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332, which
places the burden on the parties who brought the suit to plead particular facts that establish
the requisite amount in controversy and complete diversity of citizenship between the
plaintiffs and the defendants.
The court issued an order (Doc. 55) and pointed out several areas in which the original
complaint was lacking with regard to subject matter jurisdiction. Plaintiffs filed an amended
complaint (Doc. 65) and a memorandum (Doc. 68) in support of jurisdiction. The court then
issued another order (Doc. 71) that addressed the amendment and noted some questions with
respect to defendant First Standard Asurety, LLLP (“FSA”).
FSA is described in the amended complaint as having David Harris (Georgia) as its
general partner and certain unknown limited partner(s). Plaintiffs requested the opportunity
to conduct discovery of jurisdictional facts to establish the identity and citizenship of the
limited partners and other aspects of the citizenship of FSA. Leave was granted, to allow the
pleading of specific facts as required by cases such as Settlement Funding, LLC v. Rapid
Settlements, Limited, 851 F.3d 530, 537 (5th Cir. 2017).
Plaintiffs filed a Memorandum (Doc. 75) that stated written discovery was served on
FSA and David Harris. They were said to have responded that FSA is a limited liability
partnership registered in Georgia and that David Harris (domiciled in Georgia) is the “sole
partner” of FSA. The court noted this representation in minutes of a conference (Doc. 76)
and directed counsel for FSA and Harris to file an amended answer to clarify that
information. The amended answer (Doc. 80) asserts that FSA “is a Limited Limited Liabiity
(sic) Partnership organized under the laws of the State of Georgia.” It continues, “Defendant
David Harris is a Limited Partner and General Manager of FSA” and is domiciled in Georgia.
The amended answer alleges that Harris is “a” limited partner, but it does not allege
that there are no other partners, as was previously suggested. It implies that there may be
other partners, which requires clarification. That clarification should also address the fact
that Georgia law appears to provide that a partnership is an association of two or more
persons. Ga. Code Ann., § 14-8-6. A partnership can then record an election to become a
limited liability partnership. § 14-8-62. Georgia also allows the formation of a limited
partnership, which also requires formation by two or more persons. § 14-9(A)-2. The
inclusion of LLLP in FSA’s name suggests that it is a limited liability partnership. § 14-8-63.
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FSA is directed to move for leave to again amend its answer and state with specificity
the name of each partner (limited, general, or otherwise) in the entity. If David Harris is the
sole partner, then that should be stated with specificity, and it should be explained, by
reference to Georgia law or particular facts, how the entity has only a single partner. The
deadline for compliance with this order is November 30, 2017.
THUS DONE AND SIGNED in Shreveport, Louisiana, this 13th day of November,
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